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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  July 27, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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test test test test test test test test test test preelt wolf, wolf, >> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a man that time magazine called the sheriff of wall street, he is a u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, preet bharara. >> there are some people very arrogant and some people who think they are above the law and think they can do no wrong and there are some people who think that maybe i may not get caught because nobody is enforcing these laws and part of our job in the white-collar area and other areas is to have people understand when they are doing if they are doing the cost benefit analysis of whether or not it makes sense to engage in this fraud or engage in this bad activity on wall street or somewhere else that should not be only considering whether or not they are going to have to pay, disgorge their profits and a penalty on top of that but consider in their calculation they may also go to jail and that changes the calculation i
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think considerably. and i think that is the way in which particularly in the white-collar area you can have some measure of deterrence. >> rose: we conclude this evening with a brief against, a brief against capitalism from david harvey and richard wolff. >> what is coming to an end to start with the good news is a 50 year taboo in the united states about questioning our economic system, i mean, we take pride as americans that we question and debate our education only system, our transportation system for the last couple of years we have been debating our medical insurance and medical care system, but for 50 years at least when it comes to the capitalist system, whether you are republican or a democrat, cheerleading is the substitute for serious questions, for serious debate. >> rose: preet bharara and the debate against capitalism when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
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>> rose: additional funding provided by these >> and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide.
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>> from our studios in new york captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: preet bharara is here, he is the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, a powerful job, he has held since 2009. he is best known for cracking down hard on financial misconduct, with a series of insider trading convictions to his credit he has been called the sheriff of wall street. he is also held all kinds of criminals to account from drug lords to crooked politicians and recently focused on the recent threat of cyber crime i am pleased to have him here at this table. i mention this because many of you probably saw this, this is time magazine's cover story from 2012, february 13th, called this man is busting wall street. are you busting wall street? >> first, it is great to be on the show, charlie. >> rose: thank you. >> , you know, we don't think of it as busting wall street, we
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think of holding people accountable who are engaging in misconduct whether that is on wall street or whether that is in the statehouse in albany or whether it is in, you know, city hall, we just convicted someone out of the southern district of new york today who was a former, who is a current city councilman in new york and the job of any prosecutor like it is for people in my office or any other office in the justice department or any other local prosecutors office is to hold people account who believe are breaking the law and breaking faith with the public trust. >> rose: tell me about the office -- this is a legendary office in the southern district of new york, rude difficult julien had that job and other famous people have gone on to other things. >> the office is a storied one, so it is a very humbling thing to be the u.s. attorney in that district, the first u.s. attorney in that office was appointed in 1789, so it has -- >> rose: 1789? >> it is a long and storied history. predecessors in my position in that office include not only rudy julien who became the mayor but former secretaries of war,
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secretaries of state, a lot root who is a famous american from -- he was a u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york in 1883 and later became secretary of war, later became secretary of state, was the united states senator and won the nobel peace prize. >> a long history of doing a lot of great cases before i got there and will be long after i am gone. >> rose: did you want to be a prosecutor when you were in law school? >> i did. >> rose: why? >> i knew i wanted to be a lawyer pretty early on in my life, and i think i knew i wanted to be a prosecutor even before i went to law school, and then once i was in law school and i realized the kinds of things you can do with the practice of law, i, i found really amazing and i think there are a lot of people in the world who spend a lot of their life waiting for an opportunity to make a difference and make a change in their communities or in their countries, and so many people, too many people never get that chance and i think if you become a prosecutor and your only responsibility and mission is to make the country and the
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community a little bit safer and better and do what is right, there can be no more gratifying job than that. and more specifically when i was in law school, i took a class on trial practice, with some very fine folks and realized that there is nothing that compares to the compilation of trying a case in front of a jury. >> rose: did you watch to kill a mockingbird when you were young. >> did and read it also. >> rose: and made you want to be a lawyer? >> that and also i actually read inherit the wind in seventh grade. >> rose: great story. >> i thought that would be a great thing to do to stand up in a courtroom and argue to a judge and a jury on cases of magnitude and significance to people in their lives and i still can't think of anything better than that. >> rose: you like being in the exroom? >> i do. although i don't get to do that anymore, as the boss, but they keep me out of the courtroom now but maybe one daily go back in. >> rose: because a lot of prosecutors become defense attorneys which seems to suggest that you are not necessarily born with a prosecutorial dna, but that it is a skill, you know, that you can use on both
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sides of that aisle. >> there are some people who could not be prosecutors, they don't have the constitution for it, it is not the easiest ming in the world to spend your time working on cases that are difficult and that mean so much to people and by definition if you are doing your job properly and holding people to account as they should be held to account under the laws and the constitution of this country that you see people get their liberty taken away from them, it takes a strong constitution to do that and also people who are prosecutors and couldn't represent defendants, but there are also i think a lot of people who realize that we have a great system in this country, great criminal justice system, and everyone is worthy of representation, and the rule of law needs to be upheld and not only by prosecutors but by defense lawyers also. and there are a lot of people i think have an alley jans to the law suc such that they can assiduously perform their duties as a prosecutor and also zealously perform their duties as a defense lawyer as long as they are playing by the rules and following the constitution
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and following the law. >> rose: what will you do after this? >> i am not thinking that far ahead i would like to do this job as long as i can. >> rose: when you look at the cases that come out of wall street, do you believe that there has been sufficient prosecution? >> i think you have a combination, either you have criminal conduct, that occurred i think you have unethical conduct that occurred, i think you have stupid conduct that occurred, i think you have negligent conduct that occurred and a prosecutor's job whether it is me or anyone else in the justice department or local prosecutors can only to where the evidence leads. >> rose: so the people who say why aren't there more people in jail, because of the thing that happened during that financial scandal, the answer is? >> the answer is, people are working very, very hard to investigate everything that went wrong and to make sure that no resource is going unspent to bring to account and hold to account people who have committed criminal acts. not everything can be progression cuted criminally and a lot of investigations remain
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ongoing. >> rose: do you make decisions saying, i believe this person committed a crime, but i do not believe i can prosecute it, therefore i am not going to spend the state's money trying? >> i think you sometimes reach that conclusion but you reach that conclusion after you have taken a hard look. when -- if a building burns down, it may or may not be arson but if you have some suspicion it is arson you go and strait and you spend a lot of time investigating. >> rose: you believe it is arson and you believe you know the person who did it and how he did it but for whatever extenuating circumstances you don't believe you can prove it. >> yes. in a nation of laws, where the constitution governs if you cannot prove it, then you have no business bringing the case. >> rose: okay. so if you not bring it, don't bring the case if you don't think you can prove it? >> which is not to say you don't bring hard cases which i think is possibly part of to the spirit of your question, you bring really hard case if you think you have a chance of proving it but you have to believe in your own heart and mind as a prosecutor that the person is guilty of the crime. and you need evidence to be able
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to do that. >> rose: do you have to be convinced in your own mind. >> i believe so, yes. >> rose: you look at a man of resource, you have the importance of the crime and what else deciding to priya prosecution? >> you consider one thing, really, is it in the interest of justice to bring the prosecution? and, you know, nothing else matters and, you know, prosecutors should be judged based on the cases that they bring, and they also should be judged based on how they bring those cases and they do so without paying attention to political winds or public pressure, both in terms of bringing the case or walking away from a case. it is really the only thing that guides us, it is the principle in my office and every other prosecutor's office that has been handed down for generations in the southern district of new york and elsewhere that every day you come to work and you do your job you must believe you are doing the right thing and if you think you are barking up the wrong tree then you need to walk away from it. >> rose: is it easier to prosecute today because people still leave an electronic trail on their hard drive? >> i was not around prosecuting
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before we had hard drives but i sometimes joked to fbi agents and other that it must have been more difficult 50 years ago or 60 years ago when people didn't have, you know, e-mail chat and other electronic trails, i at nk that is probably true. >> rose: do you see in criminals today more and more people who are committing illegal acts? >> they have an awareness of that so you can see how they bend over backwards not to put something in an e-mail because they have learned either through other observation that it will get you? >> you would be surprised how stupid some people are, you would be surprised how many people think that just because they deleted an e-mail that it is gone forever when it isn't. and sometimes the best evidence of a crime is hot what is written in the e-mail that gets produced but the discovery that an e-mail was destroyed at a particular point in time after, you know, an investigation was discovered there was a case, that we brought an insider trading area and a matter of public record where the best in evidence the case was a person admitting to his friend that he had kept inside information on a
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flash drive and he decided after he got wind the there were investigations being done by my office and the sec and fbi smashed the flat drive with a couple of pairs of pliers walked out of his apartment in one or 2:00 o'clock in the apartment and chased multiple garbage trucks to get rid of that evidence, we were never able to recover the flash drives but we got the admission about the destruction of evidence and sometimes -- >> rose: so he was prosecuted on destruction of h evidence. >> and also insider trading. >> rose: so insider trading some people have said, you know, that you have spent a considerable amount of time on with insider training but are you overlooking other, more serious financial crimes? >> no. going back da. >> rose: you say no but you heard the question. >> i have. you asked me at the beginning and i failed to answer what my office is like. we have about 230 assistant u.s. attorney both criminal and civil and about the same number of staff, so 450 people in the office at any given time, there are only a handful of people working on insider trading cases
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but we do so many things i if yu only read the front pages of the financial press that's what you think we are working on, even in the white-collar area we do enormous amount also of work and great work in our offices again around other u.s. attorney's offices and the rest of the department of justice as well on ponzi schemes and financial crisis cases and mortgage fraud cases and not just criminally but also civilly, and again, resources that need to be spent on those kind of cases are being spent and all leads are being pursued and it just happens to be the case, i think, that in some quarters people pay a lot more attention to the insider trading cases that is perhaps, you know, proportional. >> what is the state of organized crime today? in the jurisdiction you cover? >> organized crime is alive and kicking, you know, a lot of people think they have fallen by the way decide a little bit but we see over and over again the traditional cosa nostra family and other kind of organized crime families from eastern europe continue to rear their heads and continue to use
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baseball bats and intimidate people and extortion schemes, some have gotten more sophisticated and have engaged in white-collar crime because it is a little bit for lucrative from time to time and some of them have gotten smart criminally in that way but that problem has not gone away and as recently as a year and a half ago, i stood up with a number of other united states attorneys and the attorney general of the united states and we had the chargest organized crime takedown i think in history and that was only, you know, 16 or 17 months ago so people, you know, the reports of the demise of organized crime as they say is greatly exaggerated. >> rose: on the other hand, i seem to read more and more cases where somebody is talking. >> if your point is that, you know -- >> no one is living by this cold of styles that used to be. silence that used to be. >> i think that broke some time ago but it is still difficult to crack the code of honor there. >> rose: how should we treat financial crimes in terms of
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punishment? should they, crimes that have no violence be looked at in a different way that crimes that have violence in them? >> i think all punishment is case by case and judges now have, you know, wide discretion and more discretion than they had just a few short years ago. it depends on the case, but it is also true that some forms of financial crime are incredibly serious and can week devastation on families and wipe out people's life savings and not be able to afford their medications and not afford their education and those are not crimes of violence per se but they are incredibly devastating things that people can engage in and the victims are incredibly hurt. and so when you have crimes of that nature, even if they are financial and so-called white-collar crimes, i think that strong punishment is due and owing to those people. >> rose: when do you measure when they have been quote rehabilitated. >> it is hard to tell. i think we have a lot of cases where people are recidivists and as in other area of criminal law need to be treated more
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seriously than otherwise. >> rose: when you look at criminal conduct what is the impact of of poverty, circumstances beyond the control of the person? >> i think sometimes it plays a role, it does not play a role, you have the opposite problem when talking about the white-collar cases we bring where i think people are appropriately amazed at how someone who has so much power and wealth and authority and privilege and education and has a billion dollars decides i need a million more and risks his or her liberty. >> rose: how do you -- >> you know, i can't explain it fully, there are some people who are very arrogant who think they are above the law and some people who think they can do no wrong and there are some people who think that maybe i will not get caught because nobody is enforcing these laws and part of our job in the white-collar area and other areas is have people understand what they are doing the cost benefit analysis of whether or not it makes sense to engage in this fraud or engage in this bad activity or wall street or somewhere else that
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they should not be only considering whether or not they will have to pay, disgorge their profits and pay a penalty on top of that but have to consider in their calculation may also go to jail and i think that changes the calculation considerably and i think particularly in the white-collar area you can have some measure of deterrence. >> rose: but you always find arrogance i never thought i would get caught. this is a question. i have never believed people want to be caught. >> rational people don't want to get caught. >> rose: but irrelevant rationality is a factor you have to. >> white-collar area there is a lot of rationality and that's why in some ways in the white collar area they should be as a psychological and criminal law matter easier to deter and i think you get cultures of corruption that develop in companies and institutions when a long period of time goes by and no action is taken and people start to think, well i guess nothing bad is going to happen to me and everyone else is doing it and a casualness to certain kind of criminal
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activity in the insider trading area and think they can blythely go on and the engage in that behavior and our job is disabuse them of that notion and show them people are serious about enforcing the law as written and investigating them and serious about using, you know, potent investigative tools that may not have been used before to the same degree, and extend a message to all of those people if you engage in that conduct, you are going to be punished for it and hopefully sending a message to all of their piers who have a thought they might engage in that conducts the a bad idea and you don't want to be separated from your family for a period of years for a few extra bucks. >> rose: do you have the resources and the power to do the job that the public expects you to do? >> >> we can always use more resources. i mean, in the department like every other agency in government, has been in tough times with respect to budgets
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because of the problem of the economy. so if we had more resources we could do more great work. something people don't appreciate about, you know, my office and a lot of other offices is at a time when people like to denigrate government i think we have some of the finest public servants you have ever seen in the country working in our office and other offices. we have a budget of about $50 million in our u.s. attorney's office, last fiscal year, we brought back to the treasury through forfeiture and other programs $800 million, 16 times what our budget was, which i think if i am remembering correctly is most -- is better than most hedge funds as a matter of return. >> rose: as a matter of return. >> rate of return. so, you know, hopefully the public understands and can understand better that investment of a dollar in certain programs within the department of justice and specifically u.s. attorney's offices is a return many times that amount back to the public. >> rose: a what about the power of, you need in order to do the job? >> i think we have pretty broad
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base powers. you know, i am not going to opine on whether or not there are better laws that could exist and whether or not some laws need tweaking that is for other people to decide but we have -- we have a, we have a lot of powers in this country. >> rose: have you ever brought a case in which you think you should not have brought? >> it happens from time to time. we take a look, you know, every day, in his or her mind be sifting the evidence in his or her head and be thinking about whether or not this is the right case to bring and sometimes new evidence comes to light that you didn't realize before and sometimes you find out that, you know, the evidence was not quite what it seemed based on talking with some witnesses and you abandon the administration or unfortunately -- >> rose: so you -- >> you lose in court but more importantly about that it is not about winning and ludesing is the right thing to. do if you are pursuing the wrong guy we pride ourselves on running as fast as possible to the judge to say, this person shouldn't be prosecuted and we make sure if a person like that is sitting in a prison cell somewhere whether the in our office or come across
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in our office or another office we work hard to make sure the right thing is done by that person because it is the right thing being done by the american people. >> rose: but it is an he for outstanding power that prosecutors have and the responsibility not just to win the case but to ensure fairness in the system. [it is an enormous power] >> that is a question, i agree and i will tell people what i tell people and they are a little surprised by it. prosecutors need to be, whether in my office or anywhere else absolutely fearless, he need to have a good mind, they need to have a spine of steel, they also need to have a good heart and they need to understand that their job is only to do one thing, to make sure that justice is done and to make sure it is done in the right way at every step of the process and so we take a lot of great care to make sure we don't have mistakes like that made or worse than that people who are acting this bad faith because there is so much power, we screen people very carefully we take the -- there is nothing more important we do in the office to ensure the
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legacy of the office going forward than ensure that justice is being done going forward is, there is nothing more important than hiring the right people, and i tell people that, you know, at the end of the hiring process, the applicant will come and see me, and i ask the question of every applicant some who may be watching now that how are you going to feel knowing that every day in your job by definition if you are doing your job correctly on the criminal side, that you will basically be the proximate cause for and responsible for another human being losing his or her liberty for periods of time? how are you going too feel about that and it is an important question and you learn a lot from what people's answers are and from time to time not too often but from time to time you get an answer from somebody that indicates they are a little bit excite excited about that prospect and take some joy in that prospect and they are a little too zealous about it and you know what we do? we don't hire those people because those are bad people to have and i think you don't want a justice system where you have
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prosecutors who are cowboys and want to do that, at the same time you don't want to make sure, you with a, that are not scared of prosecuting people and who don't are have the disposition to do what is very hard, and sit in a courtroom and know that you are prosecuting somebody because the law is there and they have violated the law and somebody who is too weak need about it either, you want somebody who is tough and strong .. and aggressive and always, always, always fair and always has some measure of understanding of the dignity of all people, whether you are a defendant or not. >> rose: terrorism. coma lid sheikh mohammed. >> in december of 2009, the united states attorney made a decision initially to extend khalid sheikh mohammed to trial in the southern district, yes. >> rose: did you look forward to that. >> we were called upon to undertake that enterprise and so we were ready to do it moo it has been the biggest trial of the century. >> we were ready to do it. >> rose: biggest trial of the
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century. >> as you know because it was unsealed within weeks our office working jointly with the u.s. attorney in the eastern district of virginia in that office procured an indictment against sheikh mohammed and others and for reasons outside of my pay grade and control, that did not happen. >> rose: not outside of your judgment was it a mistake would they have been better served if it was tried in the southern district of new york rather than in guantanamo? you know, the decision was made initially to bring him to the southern district and we were pleased to -- >> rose: the attorney general wanted to do that in the beginning? >> yes but, you know, the decision was ultimately made to send him and others to a military commission, which the president and the attorney general both made clear and others have made clear is also an appropriate forum for people to be tried and so that is where he is being tried. >> rose: but it is an interesting case in which sometimes people in a trial like that could have used it, they worried, some say, to use it as a platform to spew his own or
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depending on the defendant, argue his own political point of view. >> i mean. >> you say that is america and people knew that and are prepared to offer a vigorous interrogation of that. >> you need to understand what the role of the prosecutor is, the role of the prosecutor is to make sure that use is done, and if you have a job to do, which isive case is given to you or brought to you or investigated and you are in a position to bring it, to pursue it vigorously and, you know, other external facilities about how things affect .. public perception is really not the responsibility of a line prosecutor, to prosecute can a case and if we had that opportunity we would have done it in a dignified manner and in an effective and efficient manner and i think we would have done a good job but i think the people who were pursuing there in the military commission will also do a good job. >> rose: you are seeing cyber,
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cyber crime at an alarming rate. >> tell me what it is about and what kind of things alarm you and scare you the most. >> you don't have a long enough show to go into all of the problems and worried irs, i think you are finding an increases manner people who see the threat stream and see the problems, talking about it in a more and more alarming way because it is warranted. part of the problem is there is no monolithic cyber threat emanating from one source but different kind of people who are engaged in different motivations, have different motivations and engaged in different kind of activities, you have people who are so-called nihilists who decide for a so-called ideological reason they want to steal people's personal information or, you know, humiliate them and make a point and they go after, you know, particular individuals or institutions strategically to make their point, groups like anonymous and others, you have some people who are, you know, old-fashioned fraud searches living at lap stops in eastern europe and other places and just
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trying to steal your account information or steal, you know, more directly money from your accounts, absolutely, to the tunes of millions of dollars where they hijack your computers or they divert your computers to other servers so they can engage in all sorts of advertising fraud and just in it for the buck and an increasing concern that has been described by a lot of people in government at very high levels about nation states who are engaging in cyber, you know, criminal activity and activity that affects our national security as well and all of those things are important, all of those things are of great concern, bob muller who had on the show the fbi director said there are two kind of companies this america, those who have been hacked and those who will be hacked. and that is sobering news and i think people are waking up to the fact that, you know, more needs to be done, with respect to industry, i have noted when i have gone and spoken to ceos of companies and general counsels of exeaps at other people of these companies that they admit to me sometimes, you know, with some embarrassment they have not
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thought nearly enough about how to deal with the cyber threat and everybody has this vision that all the cyber criminals, and many are sophisticated they are like tom cruise propelling down the side of a building when in fact what is happening much more frequently you have cyber criminals who are walking down, you know, what are essential virtual corridors and looking for the unlocked door and that's the first place they go and they try to steal your information and there are too many companies who are relegating cyber security and cyber safety to, you know, the tech group at the firm and we made it a point and we are going to be gathering with ceos and others in coming weeks and months to say, you know, this is a responsibility not jump just of the technical know/foe folks or it folks of your company but the responsibility of the ceo and cfo and responsibility of the general counsel and it is board of directors. i had a guy come up to me after i gave a talk about the cyber threat some weeks ago and say, you know, i am on the board of directors of an internet company, internet company you would have been familiar with and said i have not heard that this company has spent one minute thinking about how we
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will protect people's information and maybe they have, but the board of directors knows nothing about that and i said to him, so you know what you are going to do at your next board of directors meeting, i am not waiting when i am done here i am calling my colleagues and say we need to convene and talk about it. so the fact that this late day and age when, you know, years people, years after people are sounding the alarm you have companies of some significance whose entire money is on the enter and their money is through the internet and the most vulnerable have not taken it upon themselves to be prepared for a crisis that is alarming to people like me into and one of these profiles that often is written about you, this, great affection you have for bruce springsteen, why is that shncht i think that is a common affection, there are a lot of people who some of this will sound corny, who love america and think it is not cool to say that you do, i think bruce springsteen helps people a little bit among all the things that are great about him and his music and melody and everything else and hopefulness about his music although he sometimes is
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talking about people who are not -- who are in points of despair in his life but he makes it, i think, easier for people who otherwise think there is something wrong with expressing great love and affection for the greatest country that ever existed. >> rose: he also does a sense of somehow speak what millions are thinking in terms of their own sense of the country and in justice and fairness and a whole range of issues. that he gives voice to those expressions even though he lives in a very different circumstances in his own personal success. >> rose:. >> >> first of all he is a real guy and a real person and i think a lot of people like to see authenticity, that's an important quality for anybody, it is an important quality in an interviewer and in a prosecutor and trial lawyer, as we were talking about earlier, it is an important quality in a musician and a singer, if i could cite to jon stewart who i think expressed it best what is great about bruce springsteen what he said somewhere after coming back from the springsteen concert he said to his studio.
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>> audience: audience, do you like joy? if you like joy, you should go see a springsteen concert and i think separate and apart from all of the other things you are talking about and the way he talks about he america and the way he talks about people and justice, there is a lot of joy. >> rose: thank you for joining us. >> thanks very much. >> rose: and we will be back, stay with us. to in the i've years since global recession began our economy has seen great changes, some suggest that capitalist system that that has brought so much prosperity in the world is in some kind of crisis, beyond that they say capitalism is unjust. joining me now two people making some of these arguments david harry is a gentlemanographer and his latest book is called rebel cities from the right to the city, to the urban revolution, richard wolff is an economist, his book is democracy at work, a cure for capitalism i am pleased to have them at this table. let's beg with the idea of why cities are so important.
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>> i think a lot of money goes into building cities and a lot of people work and live and have their daily lives in city, half of the world's population more than half now lives in cities. so you really have got to think about urban life, it is absolutely crucial to contemporary life. >> rose: but beyond that, i mean, are cities some how representing today some sense of the best of our civilation? >> i think they are representing in some ways the worse of our civilization. >> rose: but is your argument against capitalism and the distribution of wealth and you simply choose cities as the venue to look at the snish. >> i think it is partly a good venue to look at the cities, because you see the inequality written into the urban landscape as you walk around, and if you walk around, i mean, i love to walk around cities, most people don't walk around them anymore, and i think that this inequality of course stems from
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inequalities which are inherent in the capitalist system, so the capitalist system produces certain kinds of cities, so you can not change the cities without changing the capitalist system and vice versa. >> and what are your -- do you have any sense of optimism that something will change to make -- >> well there are a lot. >> rose: make the equation different? >> there are a lot of social movements going on in various cities around the world which is why i wrote this book, it is to talk about some of the social movements and what their rigs is twheat might be doing and there is lot to be pulled together in the kind of imagination they have, if you in argentina or in your neighborhoods, where there is a neighborhood organization or in chile and seeing a student movement fighting with the water cannon and that kind of stuff there are a lot of movements trying to change urban life and i think this is something that is very exciting, on the other hand when you look at the immense power and the military apparatus and the increasing militarization of cities you get very nervous about the fact they won't be able to do much.
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>> rose: are they gaining traction? >> i think they are gaining track shun and gaining in people understanding what might need to change in order to make for a decent urban life for everyone. >> rose: occupy, the economy, challenging capitalism, what is going on there? >> well, i think that what is coming to an end to start with the good news, is a 50 year taboo in the united states about questioning our economic system. i mean we take pride as americans that we question and debate our education system, our transportation system for the last couple of years, we have been debating our medical insurance and medical care system, but for 50 years, at least, when it comes to the capitalist system, whether you are a republican or a democrat, cheerleading is the substitute for serious question, for serious debate. >> rose: tell me what occupy wants. >> what has struck me about them are two things above all else.
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first, that they demonstrated to the world and to the american people that a critical stance towards the status quo, a desire to make fundamental change can enroll hundreds of thousands and millions of people in a terribly short amount of time, can generate vast sympathy across society when a lot of people did not think that was possible or at least not in the offing for decades to come. and the second thing that they proved besides that there is movement and there is desire for change was they had an incredibly courageous position they took. which refers to what i just said. they put capitalism, the economic system squarely in the center of the questions they wanted to. >> and some argued that was the wrong place to go. >> right. >> rose: as you know. >> they said don't go to wall street, go to washington. >> and that's why i like what they did, because i don't agree with that. we are a strange country, in our
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country, when you have an economic problem, most of our people leap right over the economic players and go after the politicians. i would like to point out that of the last crisis years, five years, we have laid off something in the order of eight to ten or more millions of people from their jobs. the overwhelming majority of those people lost their jobs because of private capitalist employer told them to stay home and if you look at the millions who have lost their homes as the private capitalist bank that did that. where is then the criticism focused, it jumps over the corporation that fired you, over the bank that foreclosed you, and goes after the politician. if i were the head of a bank or head of a corporation, i would be very pleased with that. >> have they outlined exactly what they want? >> no because that is being argued and discussed in them. so for most people involved -- >> rose: it hasn't been decided. >> it is being discussed you are right it is being discussed but remember we haven't had a broad-based movement in this
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country, fundamentally questioning capitalism in a long time. >> rose: why not? >> well, i think we were successful not the question i am a part of but society was successful in creating that taboo, in making the question of criticizing capitalism either a sign you weren't well educated or you didn't understand how things worked or worse of all you were somehow disloyal to the united states by raising questions about its system. and that was done and a culture was developed in which it became very difficult, very dangerous personally to your career, to your, even your functioning as a citizen to do that kind of questioning. and breaking that up, that taboo, opening the space for debate is probably the long-term historical debt we owe to the occupy movement for taking us a quantum leap forward. >> it is not only a taboo, it is a power license and i one of the things occupy did the is point out the powerful wall street in
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politics, wall street over the media, the fact that. >> rose: and congress. >> yes. and as they said we have the best congress money can buy, and we have it, you know, and i like to think there is a party on wall street which is deeply implanted in the republican party and in the democratic party, and you have almost, you know, a power structure, one of the things occupy did is say how can you have a debate when the power structures are stuck in such a way that there is no space for debate and even came down to a physical space. what struck me about the occupy wall street, where are the public space that people can assemble and discuss these things? you have to go to private spaces. in london they wanted to go to the square and they found the square was in private ownership so they had to go to the step paul and they kind of realized there are no public spaces in the city where you can assemble and have a discussion. about these things and so when they started to have assemblies in these spaces you start to get
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police power saying you can't do this, you can do that and that. so i think the occupy wall street dramatized all things about the power relations, who controlstrols the public space ms. the city. you know, who can get into bryant park and who can't? who can go, you know, who can go into central park and with zero can't? >> rose: before occupy would you have said it is wrong to have rules and questions that maybe determine for either safety or for any one of another reason that people -- >> my joke about this is, increasingly what you have is a policy towards public space which so turn it into places where it is okay for an assembly of 2 lis 2 limbs but not of people. >> tulips but not people. they can grow things. tulips, and looking very nice. and you kind of go if you want to have an assembly of people, the police come and tell you can't be here in this number or you have to get permission from somebody. and at some point or other you have to say we have to open up spaces in the city, where you can have these discussions
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because we can't have it in the media because, you know, it is a difficulty -- >> rose:. >> is there a time in which public demonstration somehow affects the rights of others? >> well, of course it always affects the rights of others, but then that is always going to be contested and contested in some way, and i think that what we see now, the rules which are set in motion, which if you the power to groups which are not necessarily sympathetic, for example, write see the tea party meetings being policed in exactly the same way the occupy wall street was policed, now why is that? you ask yourself. >> rose: tea party meetings in new york city by the way. >> not in new york city but you didn't see the sort of hostile reaction you saw to it, and i think this is true in other cities and you see this -- now of course occurring and we are seeing the same thing happening in cairo ander the we are square, tahrir square,. >> rose: your .. point about what happened in tahrir square
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is that was a demonstration that was being held and no one felt it necessary to restrain them? >> no, no, i think what happened was -- >> rose: terrible acts of violence at the beginning. >> people took a public space and turned it into something which was a political space. >> rose: and a symbol? >> and an assembly. >> rose: and a symbol too. >> yes. and this was i think one of the key things that began to happen, now, therefore, you know, if there is a public fear you have to have public place that the fear can express itself and most of our cities are now designed to demay that, and i think, again, occupy did something which is very, very significant. >> rose: there is also this question which comes up and has come up in the campaign and you see chums written about it in which they say, that president obama wants to turn america into europe. what do you think that criticism is about? >> i think it is a thinly veiled effort to accuse mr. obama of being in some sense a social
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democrat, a socialist, the words that are often pound in europe to describe their general welfare state type of economies. >> rose: but is the state that you want to create a welfare state? >> no. >> it is what? >> the state i want to create is one that has faced up to and become willing to organize the production of goods and services that we all depend on in a fundamentally different way, because for me, that is the root problem that we haven't faced that we haven't debated and that we don't change 32 well, is the best living example of that for way or somewhere in scandinavia or where is it? >> well, you have efforts like this that have been existing inside and around capitalism from the beginning, they have funny names that we are maybe not used to. >> rose: where have they taken hold? >> one example one is the cooperative, one is the community enterprise, one is the collective enterprise, but the example that host these days is brought to the fore is an
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enterprise in the north of spain called the mondragon, based in a little village or town in the mort of spain called mondragon, and it is a story a little bit like your yogurt producer only on a much bigger scale, a catholic pleas in that part of space got a catholic priest says because the employment is so terrible and government doesn't care about working people, let's build a cooperative and he have 85,000 member workers in the mondragon corporation who work in excuse me, cooperative enterprises, a whole range of them from high tech to low-tech, agriculture, to industry, stunningly successful, a way of growth that would be the envy of anyone they are the largest corporation in northern spain now and one of the ten largest corporations in spain as a whole, which is no mean feat because pain is an important country so here is an example where competing with capitalists they have organized differently,
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in each enterprise, the workers collectively meet and make the decision who to hire as the boss, what to pay him, what to do, it is a radical alternative. and it should be debated. >> rose: indeed. >> the other crucial thing about them is, until recently, the rate of return on the individuals within the cooperative was three to one at most. and that meant that the highest earning person only got three times as much. >> rose: as in america it is huge gaps between -- >> 500 to one or something, three to one, you wonder what kind of world we would be living in if all enterprises everywhere worked on the principles of a three to one inequality and have different kind of cities and very different kind of transactions between people, you wouldn't have a situation like principles in new york city, the top one percent earn something like $3.57 million a year, whereas 50 percent of the
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population is trying to get by on $30,000 a year. that level of inequality will be impossible in a world that was dominated by mondragon type cooperatives. >> rose: because. >> because if workers. >> workers in a community if we recognize the community of people who work in an enterprise to make it work, if that community statistic around collectively deciding how to pay its members, would they make some people multimillionaires and other people unable to take care of their kids barely or to have an education? the chances are extraordinarily unlikely, i think there is a lot of support for the kind of thing that rick is talking about when it is allowed to flourish. i think this comes back to the question of who controls the conversation about what might be possible and to the degree that, you know, everything is now filtered through this tremendous kind of elite power in the media we find even in the universities we can't have a conversation about many of these things inside universities anymore because there is a kind of
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orthodox city which is, orthodoxy in the .. departments and all of this you can't have this conversation. >> rose: you cannot have this conversation in a university? >> no, it is very hard to have this conversation. >> rose: well who says no? >> the faculty and the whole spirit and the whole culture of the place. >> rose: can you study karl marx at university. >> that is my point, no, i was never assigned one word of the mature marxist economic critique which is encap still lated in three volumes of capital, not at harvard, not at stanford and not at yale. >> rose: suppose you wanted to write whatever, a thesis, a dissertation, on the ideas of karl marx, would somebody say that is unacceptable? >> absolutely. >> rose: at harvard, yale and stanford. >> absolutely because that happened to me, i went at yale which is where i got my ph.d. in economics, i went to them and i proposed that i wanted to do a dissertation on the colonial economic system as it pertained in east africa, the british in a
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country now called ken, i can't it used to be called the east africa protect frat i went to them and i said that and the professors names will remain unmentioned, and they said, to me, colonialism and the marxist approach are not appropriate titles for a dissertation and so if you look me up in the yale -- >> rose: they say that for whawhat aren't? >> they didn't have to, it wasn't appropriate,. >> rose: it wasn't appropriate because of any particular reason they said? not appropriate because we think that it is an inaccurate description of the reality that we want to pursue? >> if i had pushed them they might have said that. >> rose: yes, exactly. >> i think what you are doing is the link everything long effects of mccarthyism, and -- >> rose: you really do? >> and a witch-hunt. >> rose: and who are the mccarthy ites of this debate. >> i think, i mean in a sense mccarthy won by expelling these
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-- this conversation from -- >> rose: i in in the end he did not win in the end. >> well i am not so sure. i think we are now in a situation, where still it is the case that who reads marx in this country. >> rose: my professors were not worried they would be arrested or intimidated no, it is more subtle, it is the consensus of the profession is that you don't do that, that is high we weren't assigned the work to read, that's why it wasn't discussion discussed in the classroom, that's why we had to do it buyerly on our own. it is just that's why i used the word taboo, it is something that appropriately trained well schooled professors and graduate students don't deal with no is there a state, a state that represents the values that you would like to see reflected in the united states in terms of its economic system? >> i think there are, if you like, pockets of activity. >> rose: so this is true around the world, it is not just
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the united states. >> absolutely. and i think, you know, for some years, for example, of an indian state, karaba which has not had very good economic development from a capitalist standpoint but it has superior education and great healthcare, so many of these, you know, the population there is not wealthy but on the other hand -- >> rose: what would you say, for example, of cuba? >> well, cuba, you know, again, you are to look at the whole history of cuba, there are a lot of problems there, but it is still the case that infant mortality in cuba is lower than it is inany inner cities of the united states. and the educational levels are much higher than elsewhere and in latin america. >> rose: could zero you go from there at that point to the point that cuba has a better economic system? >> >> when in fact it was significantly being supported by
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-- >> wrong it necessarily has a -- i think there is a serious economic problems that they should have worked out -- >> rose: and individual problems and human rights problems. >> and human rights problems. >> rose: and discrimination against gays. >> and human rights problems are interesting, i mean, if you sort of say, will what are the human rights, human rights of people living around say the johns hopkins university hospital in baltimore which has the lowest life expectancy of any -- >> rose: pair enough. >> rose: being in prison for their political views. >> no but on the other hand they die of -- so you couldn't check that one against the other. i am not a defender, a great defender of the cubans. >> rose: i am looking for manager -- people lock at cuba and cite the two things you did, education and childhood mortality. >> childhood nutrition. >> rose: i think what ought to be done and what ought o to be part of a debate in politics as well as in other forum it is the
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notion of what are we learning from my experiences? you know, whether it is a sub prime crisis, sovereign debt crisis and what is it telling us about sort of the future and what we ought to know? i mean it raises basic questions about the regulation of capital limit. when the credit system in the united states collapsed late in 2008, who led the charge to the government to come in and bail everybody out? the same corporate executives whether it be from gm or citibank or morgan stanley, who would have been giving speeches up until the last minute about how who needs the government? the government should be minimal, it wasn't radek dvorak castle kor marxist that brought the leaders in but the leaders of capitalism that understood they reached a dead end, without the government there was no hope and they became the greatest enenthusiasts for massive government intervention -- >> rose: without intervention it would have been over. >> that was their view. >> rose: not just their view a
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lot of people's view. >> a lot of people's view and it is probably true, yes. and so we bailed them out, they said -- >> rose: that was the operative reason for bailout. >> >> rose: that the system would clams. >> right. but the question is, do you avoid system clams with that kind of a bail without that makes no fundamental changes, so that we look now at a story then these banks were too big to fail and without exception they are bigger now than they were at the time we said that. this is a society that is pinning out of control when it does such glaringly contradictory things and we all know it and fog happens. it is as if with the deer caught in the dead light of a process of breakdown that no one seems to be able to get a handle on, and i think it is because we are afraid to ask those basic questions that someone like marx and others wanted us to ask long ago. >> rose: i had a quote from you. >> okay. >> rose:. >> always dangerous. >> rose: to secure the source
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of reform achieved in the 20th century socialism and communism require doing more going -- require doing more, going further than reform is anywhere understood. >> right. that is my point. i think that if we take our own country as an example, we did extraordinary things in the 1930s in the face of a crisis, even worse than the one we are in now. you know, we are not we are now talking about making less social security, people have to remember in the depths of the depression is when we created social security. when everyone said there is no money to do such things as they are saying it now, roosevelt came and created a social security system, creates an unemployment compensation system, creates a federal employment program that filled 12 and a half million jobs between mean 34 and mean 41, all of the things that we are told today -- >> rose: and got everybody back to work. >> finally but a lot was done even before, my point is everything that was done is now in the process of being undone
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if it hasn't already been. we have the spectacle this morning in the newspaper that this, that just blew me away, stanford wile, former held of citibank announcing that in his mind, we ought to separate the depository banking from investment banking. we did that after the great depression, called the glass stiegel act that make that separation and sanford wile as the chairman of citibank was the leading banker that got that repealed with the repeal signed by bill clinton. and he now says, oh, scratching my head, wow, maybe we should haven't done that. >> rose: that is interesting and actually true and people are asking perhaps some of the things that they believed might not necessarily be modified, and especially after some of the things that have happened since dodd frank and other legislation people are saying well was that enough and should we do more and did it by some incentive on the part of people in congress to look at the regulations and say,
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should we move people in further? i should say that richard's book is called occupy the economy, a series of conversation with david and david harvey's book is called rebel cities from the right to the city, to the urban revolution. thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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>> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the coca-cola company, supporting this program since 2002. and american express. additional funding provided by these funders. and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. be more, pbs.
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